Free-agent wide receiver Steve Breaston visited the Browns on Wednesday and underwent a physical examination, a league source told the Beacon Journal.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
A six-year veteran, Breaston was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 19. He could be a candidate to replace Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, a free agent who is not expected to return.
Breaston met with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, according to ProFootballTalk, but the Steelers reportedly are over the salary cap. They are restructuring the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and are expected to finish it by the end of the week, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported. According to multiple reports, they are doing the same with linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley and receiver Antonio Brown.
The Steelers might be the front-runners to land Breaston, born in North Braddock, Pa. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley coached Breaston with the Arizona Cardinals and during his first year with the Chiefs. The Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions are also interested in Breaston, according to NFL.com, and the Minnesota Vikings have been mentioned as another possible suitor.
Breaston, 29, signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Chiefs in 2011. He fell out of favor there last season, catching only seven passes for 74 yards in 10 games. He has played in 86 games with 43 starts and has totaled 255 receptions for 3,387 yards and nine touchdowns.
Free-agent receiver/returner Josh Cribbs wants to finish his career with the Browns and would consider giving them a hometown discount, Cribbs said Wednesday during an interview on Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan.
Speaking on the Baskin and Phelps show, Cribbs said his contract situation is “at a standstill right now.”
“My plan is to stay with the team, even to take a slight pay cut. But at the same time, not huge pay cuts,” former Kent State quarterback Cribbs said on 92.3 The Fan, according to Sportsradiointerviews.com. “We have the coaches to do it now, to take it to the next level, and I definitely want to be there.
“I gotta just weigh my options. I want to retire a Cleveland Brown. I’m gonna go as far as I can with the team to make a compromise. And at the same time, I won’t devalue myself.”
Cribbs was coached by new Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, then with the San Diego Chargers, at the Pro Bowl after the 2007 and 2009 seasons.
“I definitely know they can help me succeed and use me like I should be used,” Cribbs told The Fan. “Norv Turner, in the first Pro Bowl, he ran a couple option plays for me and he’s excited to work with me. But ultimately we all know that it comes down to the upper management. … I’m not too confident in upper management. … It doesn’t seem like the interest level is there.”
Cribbs may have more to say at his scheduled appearance at the Greater Cleveland Auto Show at the I-X Center from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday.
A day after Arizona Cardinals running back Chris “Beanie” Wells fumbled in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears and was benched by former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt on Dec. 23, he told reporters he expected to be traded or released this offseason. But Wells, a Garfield High School and Ohio State University product who missed seven games last season with knee and toe injuries, has a chance for a fresh start, because the Cardinals fired Whisenhunt and replaced him with Bruce Arians, a former Browns offensive coordinator.
“Beanie had a tough stretch this year because of the injuries,” Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said last week at the NFL combine. “He showed a lot of grit, a lot of toughness late in the year when he was able to. He’s had some injuries, so he had a difficult time with his cut ability and his lateral movement. But Beanie is still a big horse who can finish runs and create yardage after contact, which is something that excites us.”
Wells is under contract with the Cardinals for next season.
Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus recorded 25 tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles in his rookie year with the Houston Texans, playing in 16 games with four starts. The Garfield High School and Illinois product was the 26th overall pick and Texans General Manager Rick Smith said the Texans were “very excited” Mercilus fell to them.
“I am excited about his future,” Smith said last week at the combine.
“When you look at his production per play, it’s up there. He adds explosiveness, he adds pass rush, he adds speed to our defense.
“That jump from year one to year two has to be exponential. He understands how important this offseason is to him and his development. I’m excited to watch that.”
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read the her blog at http://www.ohio.com/marla. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.